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Last year may have been a buoyant one for London landlords but a leading lettings agency admits rents dropped by up to 20 per cent in December in a bid to attract tenants and avoid winter void periods.

“Voids did creep up but figures are distorted as the market has become more seasonal.  For the last two years in particular, the key months have been between April and October – when a property can let within a week - whereas voids can be substantially increased if a property becomes available between November and March” says Lucy Morton, head of lettings at W A Ellis.

She says 2013 saw a remarkable 50 per cent increase in prime central London tenancies over the previous year and an average 2.8 per cent increase in rents. The firm’s average tenancy lasts about three years.

Morton forecasts more of the same in 2014, with the possibility of a market boost if the wider UK economy recovers as expected. “Indications are that the City will be hiring thus creating more tenants. I predict Prime Central London rents will increase by marginally over three per cent in 2014” she says.

And her inside tip? She claims a property that is well-presented and priced realistically should let within a month of being marketed.


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    My point is that the lettings market in prime central London has become much more seasonal. If a property comes on the market between November and February, it can take up to a month to let. However, between March and October, price and presented correctly it should let quickly.

    • 14 January 2014 12:21 PM
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    I admire the honesty.

    Most agents tell clients rents are rising and they can let it immediately.

    Rents falling and it takes us a month to find a tenant is certainly a new approach.

    • 14 January 2014 11:13 AM
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    I think that 'Inside tip' is up there with Gerald Ratner's comment over M&S sandwiches.

    • 14 January 2014 10:50 AM
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    The reason that their rents have appeared to drop is, I suggest, that they overvalued in the first place which is why it took a month to find tenants

    • 14 January 2014 10:48 AM
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    If this agency only has aspirations of being able to shift a property within a month I would choose a different agent!!

    • 14 January 2014 09:07 AM